Windies, Oz in thrilling tie
Michael Hussey (Gallo Images)
Kingstown - A thrilling third one-day international between the West Indies and Australia at Arnos Vale on Tuesday ended in a tie after Darren Sammy was run out with the Windies needing just one run from the last three balls to win.
Sammy had hit a boundary off the previous delivery to take West Indies to 220 with one wicket remaining, but a horrible mix-up with Kemar Roach led to Sammy being run out by Brett Lee as the Australians celebrated securing a rare tie.
But the Windies had reason to be happy too, having earlier appeared up against it at 78 for five, and the five-match series remains finely poised at one win apiece with the final two games to come in St Lucia on Friday and Sunday.
"I think we believed we could beat them," said Sammy at the end of a match watched by a packed crowd on a national holiday in Saint Vincent.
"We should have won today. Everyone played their part right down to the number 11.
"The discussion (with Roach ahead of the last ball) was that we were looking to run. I won't lay blame on anyone, it's just a shame we couldn't see out the win.
"The way we came back to get 220 was a great effort. The team believe we can beat Australia, and we will look to win the next two games.
"The pitch here was not conducive for stroke play but we do need to play some consistent cricket."
Australia captain Shane Watson, the tourists' leading bowler with figures of three for 30, was delighted his team managed to avoid a second defeat here in the space of three days but admitted that improvements must be made before Friday's next match.
"Little things here and there could have been improved," he said.
"We need to adapt and get better in these conditions.
"As a captain it is a learning experience playing in a tie but there are a lot of things to work on in the next two matches."
After winning the toss and electing to bat, Australia were indebted to a century stand between George Bailey and Mike Hussey as they reached 220 all out.
The pair reached their half-centuries in successive balls in the 39th over on their way to a fourth-wicket stand of 112.
Bailey made his maiden ODI half-century and went on to make 59 before being caught at square leg by Dwayne Bravo off the bowling of Marlon Samuels.
The older of the Hussey brothers kept the tourists' innings together and top-scored with 67 from 95 balls before being stumped by wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh off another Samuels delivery.
He was named man of the match after the highest knock of the series so far in the third game played on a notoriously tough pitch.
Before that fourth-wicket stand, Australia had looked in trouble, with captain Shane Watson being run out for ten early on, and Matthew Wade being bowled by Sunil Narine for just two.
When David Warner was dismissed for 37, the tourists were on 58 for 3.
And after Samuels had ended that fourth-wicket stand, Australia's tail collapsed in dramatic fashion.
Australia slumped from 202 for four to 208 for nine, with Brett Lee, Clint McKay and Xavier Doherty all returning to the pavilion without scoring.
Daniel Christian managed 12 before the innings came to an end when he was given out lbw to a Sunil Narine delivery.
In reply, Kieran Powell, Samuels and Darren Bravo were all dismissed cheaply before Johnson Charles was caught by Christian off the bowling of Watson after making 45, the highest score of the West Indies innings.
Dwayne Bravo walked after managing just 13 but the hosts' middle order impressed, with big-hitting Kieron Pollard hammering in two fours and two sixes in a quick-fire 36 from 43 balls.
Pollard eventually went when he was caught by Nathan Lyon at long on off Doherty.
Clint Baugh (33) and Andre Russell (37) also starred before Narine was caught superbly by David Hussey at mid on from the bowling of Lee to leave the West Indies on 204 for 9 in the 48th over.
Still they should have seen out the win, but neither Sammy nor Roach were able to hold their nerve.